LINES Ballet & Kronos Quartet Collaborate On A World Premiere This Fall
Alonzo King LINES Ballet, the San Francisco-based, internationally celebrated contemporary ballet company, culminates its 35th Anniversary season with a world premiere ballet featuring live music performed by the Grammy Award-winning Kronos Quartet.
Two of San Francisco's most eloquent cultural ambassadors, LINES Ballet and Kronos are both visionaries in their respective fields - celebrated worldwide for their boundary-breaking artistry. This world premiere marks their first collaboration. Choreographer Alonzo King selected the music that Kronos will perform from Kronos' open access education initiative, Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire. Fifty for the Future is an unprecedented legacy project that is commissioning and freely distributing a total of 50 original string quartet compositions by 25 women and 25 men from around the world.
The premiere will feature music by contemporary composers Yotam Haber, Trey Spruance, Merlin Twaalfhoven, and Aleksander Kociów. For 45 years, Kronos has combined a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually reimagine the string quartet experience. For the ensemble's musicians David Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola) and Sunny Yang (cello), collaboration is a key artistic tenet. Some of Kronos' recent collaborations include projects with Iranian singer Mahsa Vahdat, filmmakers Sam Green and Joe Bini, Malian griots Trio Da Kali, Chinese-American pipa player Wu Man, American visual artist Trevor Paglen, English-American noise artist David Coulter, American singer-songwriters Rhiannon Giddens and Jolie Holland, spoken-word poets from the Bay Area-based nonprofit Youth Speaks, Icelandic indy rock band múm, and American experimental artists Laurie Anderson and CocoRosie.
Collaboration is also central to Alonzo King LINES Ballet's work and, over 35 years, has placed the Company at the forefront of artistic innovation in its field. Alonzo King's many past collaborators include the BaAka artists from Central African Republic, China's Shaolin Monks, actor Danny Glover, jazz saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders, Hamza el Din, Pawel Szymanski, jazz composer Jason Moran, vocalist Lisa Fischer, and tabla master Zakir Hussain. With each work, LINES Ballet investigates deeply rooted affinities between Western and Eastern classical forms, elemental materials, the natural world, and the human spirit. At LINES Ballet, artistic investigation is infinite and essential - and it leads to what unites us as human beings: empathy, joy, and the ability to transcend. Also on the program is the revival of King's 2005 Baroque classic and audience favorite, Handel.
Unique to this fall season will be a pre-performance LINES Family Experience on October 7, geared for families with children ages 4 - 10. In this interactive and immersive workshop, families will explore and discover Alonzo King's work and creative process; make a dance of their own; and get a sneak peak at the Company in their final moments of rehearsal before they take the stage. Registered families will also receive a Family Discount to the 2pm matinee that day.
LINES Ballet Since 1982, Alonzo King LINES Ballet has collaborated with noted composers, musicians and visual artists from around the word to create performances that alter the way we look at ballet today. The Company is guided by a unique artistic vision that adheres to the classical form-the linear, mathematical and geometrical principles that are deeply rooted in the preexisting East-West continuum. LINES Ballet's spring and fall home seasons and global tours share this vision of transformative, revelatory dance with 40,000+ audience members worldwide every year. It has been featured at venues such as the Venice Biennale, Monaco Dance Forum, Maison de la Dance de Lyon, the Edinburgh International Festival, Montpellier Danse, the Wolfsburg Festival, the Holland Dance Festival, and most recently Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris.
Alonzo King has been honored by the dance world's most prestigious institutions for his impact on the cultural fabric of the company's home in San Francisco, as well as nationally and internationally for over more than three decades. Named a Master of Choreography by the Kennedy Center in 2005, King is the recipient of the Doris Duke Foundation Artist Award, the NEA Choreographer's Fellowship, the Jacob's Pillow Creativity Award, the Irvine Fellowship in Dance, the US Artist Award in Dance, and the National Dance Project's Residency and Touring Awards. King has works in the repertories of San Francisco Ballet, the Royal Swedish Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Béjart Ballet Lausanne, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Hong Kong Ballet, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, among others.
"Alonzo King is one of the few ballet choreographers working today who is genuinely thinking and asking his dancers to think, too. Who would have thought that ballet-so historically Western, hierarchical, and white-could be renewed by an African American child of the civil rights movement whose aesthetic vision and inquiring mind are pushing it out of its provincial state into the world" (Jennifer Homans, The New Republic).
For 45 years, San Francisco's Kronos Quartet - David Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello) - has combined a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually reimagine the string quartet experience. In the process, Kronos has become one of the world's most celebrated and influential ensembles, performing thousands of concerts, releasing more than 60 recordings, collaborating with many of the world's most intriguing and accomplished composers and performers, and commissioning over 950 works and arrangements for string quartet. Kronos has received over 40 awards, including the Polar Music and Avery Fisher Prizes, two of the most prestigious awards given to musicians.
Integral to Kronos' work is a series of long-running collaborations with many of the world's foremost composers, including Americans Terry Riley, Philip Glass, and Steve Reich; Azerbaijan's Franghiz Ali-Zadeh; Russia's Vladimir Martynov; Poland's Henryk Górecki; and Serbian-American Aleksandra Vrebalov. Additional collaborators have included Wu Man, Laurie Anderson, Tanya Tagaq, Mahsa Vahdat, Trevor Paglen, Sam Green, Van Dyke Parks, múm, Dawn Upshaw, Noam Chomsky, Tom Waits, Asha Bhosle, Taraf de Haïdouks, and Howard Zinn.
On tour for five months per year, Kronos appears in the world's most prestigious concert halls, clubs, and festivals.Kronos is equally prolific and wide-ranging on recordings, including the Grammy and Latin Grammy-nominated Nuevo(2002) and the 2004 Grammy-winner Alban Berg's Lyric Suite. Kronos' most recent releases include Folk Songs, featuring Sam Amidon, Olivia Chaney, Rhiannon Giddens, and Natalie Merchant singing traditional songs; the collaborative album Ladilikanwith Trio Da Kali, an ensemble of Malian griot musicians assembled by Aga Khan Music Initiative; the collaborative album Landfall with Laurie Anderson; and Clouded Yellow by Bang on the Can founding composer Michael Gordon.
The nonprofit Kronos Performing Arts Association manages all aspects of Kronos' work, including the commissioning of new works, concert tours and home season performances, education programs, and a self-produced Kronos Festival.